COUTRELIS & ASSOCIES - Law firm overview

COUTRELIS & ASSOCIES was founded in 1987 by André COUTRELIS and Nicole COUTRELIS, attorneys at the Paris bar and both specialists in International and European Union law. The firm opened an office in Brussels the following year, in the center of the European district, where it was one of the very first French firms to welcome clients and handle their cases on site.

Since then, lawyers of the firm have been the initiators or have played a major part in a large number of cutting edge cases, such as the CELF case on State Aidissues or the Polypropylene and Cement Cartel cases in Competition Law. Lawyers of the firm have thus far appeared in 94 cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. The firm has also recently taken a keen interest on the interactions between European Union law and the European Convention on Human Rights, especially in the field of Competition law.

Our main strengths are Antitrust and State Aid law, Food law and Agriculture law as well as International Trade law, including of course WTO and Customs law. The firm’s cross sector expertise, in addition to its extensive “administrative memory” and experience in European Union law in general, allows it to intervene in favor of its clients, on the basis of an extensive and global comprehension of the issues at stake. The firm regularly advises clients on issues dealing with national and european regulations and all relatedresponsibilities. We help our clients define strategies in a creative manner and, depending on the specific merits of each case, we represent them accordingly in negotiations with private parties or national and european public bodies or, if needed, we initiate litigation on their behalf.

To name just a few examples, this cross-sector expertise allows the firm to:

  • Scrutinize the merits of specific standards under Competition law;
  • Develop a strategy against competitors by taking into account Unfair Competition law, as well as specific product regulations and the law related to the free movement of goods within the European Union;
  • Explain to our clients in the food industry the implications of competition policy’s increasingly active role in their business, at the European and national levels (see ECN Report, May 2012);
  • Counsel clients from various industries on the implications of the REACH regulation as applied to their particular industry but taking also into account Competition lawand International Trade law, which are often neglected when applying REACH;
  • Be sure that when applying national regulations which have transposed a Directive, this is done in conformity with European Union law, the said law itself being interpreted in accordance with the WTOrules as was indicated by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

When necessary, COUTRELIS & ASSOCIES involves external attorneys, jurists or scientists, from France, the European Union and European Economic Area as well as from a number of countries around the world, most notably the United States of America, to assist in matters the firm does not itself practice. Yet in doing so, COUTRELIS & ASSOCIES remains independent. We have chosen to not become members of any institutionalized network but instead to build, with the client and according to his specific needs, “custom-made” teams bringing together the particular technical skills needed by the client.

The firm works in a very collegial way and we actively build on this specificity. Members of the firm work together, combining their respective experience and expertise to best serve the client’s needs, without impacting our agreed-upon billing practices, whether they are fixed-rate or hourly-based. The firm is also very open to “Alternative Fee Arrangements” (AFA).

COUTRELIS & ASSOCIES members were educated in France and other European countries as well as in the United States of America. They work in French and English on a daily basis. The firm also often handles matters in Italian, Spanish and German.

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